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Blu-ray Reviews

Argo Blu-ray Review



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#61 of 73 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted February 25 2013 - 02:10 AM

It's not incredibly historically accurate, definitely sensationalized, but we can't say "all of the major elements came from Canada" because independent reviews put many people at play here.

It doesn't matter how much pure fiction the movie contains, history will have been rewritten as the believed history of the actual event will be the movie version.

I've been teaching history for over 20 years now (and have spent a considerable amount of time of the past 15 years examining films like this in terms of their influence on the general population's perception of history) and this is nothing new. Films like this don't overwrite history so much as flavour it. And while it can be annoying, it can also serve as a launchpad for discussing the events themselves (I was partly inspired to study 17th century French history at university because I wanted to learn about the real France as opposed to the depiction of it in The Three Musketeers--and I loved that book).

Only for the intellectually lazy (which some would argue is most of the population, but that's another issue). Frankly, I have a bigger issue with "Lincoln's" incorrect vote record for Connecticut. It's a pure factual piece of information like the date of the vote.

Even though I was aware of the actual vote before watching the movie (I've taught that period of history several times), it didn't really faze me in the film itself as the dramatic tension was quite effective. If I'd been a consultant on the film, I might have suggested Spielberg simply skip over Conn. and a few others (so as to not single out Conn.) rather than contradict the historical record, but, as it stands, it will make an interesting discussion point about dramatic license vs. historical records when I use this film in a class someday (besides, Tony Kushner, the screenwriter, is on record with respect to Munich--another film for which he wrote the screenplay--as deliberately choosing dramatic impact over strict accuracy, so this was not too surprising to me).

Only for the intellectually lazy (which some would argue is most of the population, but that's another issue). Frankly, I have a bigger issue with "Lincoln's" incorrect vote record for Connecticut. It's a pure factual piece of information like the date of the vote.

What's ironic is the most fictionalized parts of Argo is one of the main reasons it was such an entertaining film and probably why it won Best Picture.

Quite so. A different story, hewing more closely to the facts, could have been made and been dramatic, but it would not have been the Mendez angle. And while Affleck's goal was to tell this story of real events, he also had commercial considerations to balance against strict accuracy--and the latter often makes for a disjointed narrative structure. Again, as with Lincoln, the deviations from the facts can serve as very good starting points for discussions in the classroom (and elsewhere, for that matter--who doesn't think there will be a flurry of books on the topic to tell the 'real story'?).

As for history books and accuracy, don't forget that the entire world was lied to (by the Canadians, by Mr. Taylor, by the U.S., and by Pres. Carter) for almost 30 years. "History" was re-written when the real story was declassified. Documents of the time are basically worthless. As for me, it is just a movie, not a history book. A very good movie David

I would not go so far as to declare those documents as worthless, at least not to historians. It is actually a matter of great interest to be able to compare the "official" story with the declassified one and examine the choices made to keep it under wraps. We gain a greater understanding of government policy choices that could help shed light on other, similar historical situations, as well as the ability to critique the effectiveness and wisdom of such choices. As to the movie itself, it is a good movie. I liken it to Thirteen Days. In each case, the outcome is a foregone conclusion and yet each film manages to maintain a degree of suspense about the outcome that is more compelling than expected.
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#62 of 73 OFFLINE   David Weicker

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Posted February 25 2013 - 03:42 AM

Paul, you are correct. It was a poor word choice when I used 'worthless'. Because you are right - the 'false' story is also part of the history of this incident. Just as this film is now part of its story. It reminds me of a portion of the film "Ball Of Fire" where Barbara Stanwyck's character uses the slang term 'the Ameche' for telephone, because everyone in the 40's knew Don Ameche had invented the telephone. They knew it wasn't 'really' true, but it sounded good. (FTR, I don't know if that was actually a slng term, or made up for the movie)

#63 of 73 OFFLINE   David Weicker

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Posted February 25 2013 - 03:42 AM

Duplicate post

#64 of 73 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 25 2013 - 04:14 AM

Obviously the major selling point of telling this "true story" is how ridiculous the plan was to get these people out of Iran. That is the hook and the major element that makes the film and the story so interesting..."This is the best bad idea we have."

You know, I don't understand why the Hollywood option was considered ridiculous or a bad idea. To me it actually seemed clever. The latter half of the 70s/Early 80s was probably the biggest period of success for Sci-Fi/Fantasty movies with some of the most seminal films of all time within the genre released during that period such as Star Wars, Close Encounters, Superman, Star Trek, Alien, Mad Max, Terminator, Blade Runner (although under-appreciated at the time) etc. Even "Bad" Sci-Fi movies such as "Logan's Run" managed to be relatively successful. And at the time many small, independent studios were looking to cash in. And when you consider that many of these movies used locations all over the globe such as the Tunisian Desert standing in for Tattoine, CE3K traveling to India, Gobi Desert to shoot scenes, Superman being filmed in two continents, Alaska standing in for Antarctica in "The Thing" It seems perfectly plausible that a film crew might be scouting locations in the Middle East. So, to me at least, it seems like a decent cover, but yet one that on the surface doesn't look like a more "standard" cover that Iranian authorities might have been looking out for such as being Students/Teachers, Agriculturalists etc.
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#65 of 73 OFFLINE   SamT

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Posted February 27 2013 - 12:03 PM

I don't know if this has been discussed here or not but Argo is getting an Extended Cut.
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#66 of 73 OFFLINE   MattAlbie60

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Posted February 27 2013 - 12:06 PM

This is happening so often that I've had to try and trick myself into thinking I'm somehow coming out ahead. I literally justified it to myself yesterday by going "Well, if this extended cut were coming out five years from now, I'd gladly pay $25 to buy it again without hesitation. So now, I get to pay $25 to buy it again and I don't even have to wait five years!" If I don't think like that, I'll go insane. ARGO is still within my Best Buy return policy, though. I wonder if they would take "This product is already obsolete" as a viable return excuse, ha.

#67 of 73 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted February 27 2013 - 01:06 PM

I guess that's consistent with Affleck's previous film, though it took a bit before the extended version came out.


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#68 of 73 OFFLINE   MattAlbie60

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Posted February 27 2013 - 01:47 PM

Yeah, the extended cut of THE TOWN was around a year, wasn't it? At least with THE TOWN people had been talking about an alternate ending that was very different from that of the theatrical cut. Certain cast members, including Jon Hamm, went on record as preferring it. So I knew we'd see that eventually even before the original release.

#69 of 73 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted February 28 2013 - 02:20 AM

Why is it getting an extended cut? I think the film works as is and won Best Picture as is...is money the only motivation here? "Hollywood and high-stakes espionage collide in Argo, arriving on Blu-ray – with an extended cut of the film featuring never-before-seen scenes and more than 4 hours of special features - and DVD on 4th March. The Blu-ray includes an extended cut of the film, featuring an additional 9 minutes of footage that delve deeper into CIA specialist’s Tony Mendez’s personal relationship with his wife and son."

#70 of 73 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted February 28 2013 - 03:15 AM

Why is it getting an extended cut? I think the film works as is and won Best Picture as is...is money the only motivation here? "Hollywood and high-stakes espionage collide in Argo, arriving on Blu-ray – with an extended cut of the film featuring never-before-seen scenes and more than 4 hours of special features - and DVD on 4th March. The Blu-ray includes an extended cut of the film, featuring an additional 9 minutes of footage that delve deeper into CIA specialist’s Tony Mendez’s personal relationship with his wife and son."

HIs relationship with his son was the one area where I thought the movie was rather weak. After everyone had reached safety, I felt closure to the story and was ready to leave, but the movie dragged on a few minutes more to wrap up a story thread that had barely been acknowledged. Yes, they should either restore the personal backstory or cut it out altogether and tighten the ending. On the other hand, I have a bit of a problem when the movie that has won the Oscar as Best Picture of the Year gets withdrawn in favor of a different cut: Amadeus, Dances with Wolves and others. Which brings up an interesting thought: Which cut of Lawrence of Arabia was deemed the Best Picture of 1962?

#71 of 73 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted February 28 2013 - 03:54 AM

From what I've been able to find, this extended cut release is only for the UK (for now). The March 4th release date was a bit of a flag.

Originally Posted by Reggie W 

Why is it getting an extended cut? I think the film works as is and won Best Picture as is...is money the only motivation here?

"Hollywood and high-stakes espionage collide in Argo, arriving on Blu-ray – with an extended cut of the film featuring never-before-seen scenes and more than 4 hours of special features - and DVD on 4th March. The Blu-ray includes an extended cut of the film, featuring an additional 9 minutes of footage that delve deeper into CIA specialist’s Tony Mendez’s personal relationship with his wife and son."


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#72 of 73 OFFLINE   Cinemark

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Posted February 28 2013 - 09:16 AM

HIs relationship with his son was the one area where I thought the movie was rather weak. After everyone had reached safety, I felt closure to the story and was ready to leave, but the movie dragged on a few minutes more to wrap up a story thread that had barely been acknowledged. Yes, they should either restore the personal backstory or cut it out altogether and tighten the ending. On the other hand, I have a bit of a problem when the movie that has won the Oscar as Best Picture of the Year gets withdrawn in favor of a different cut: Amadeus, Dances with Wolves and others. Which brings up an interesting thought: Which cut of Lawrence of Arabia was deemed the Best Picture of 1962?

If memory serves me, LOA was actually a little longer on its initial release as opposed to the current restored version. The lost footage was found to have no soundtrack, they tried dubbing a Jack Hawkins sound-alike, but it didn't work well. You can see the scene as an extra. Robert Harris can shed better light on this.

#73 of 73 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted February 28 2013 - 09:30 AM

From what I've been able to find, this extended cut release is only for the UKhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=hometheaterforum-20&l=ur2&o=1 (for now). The March 4th release date was a bit of a flag.

Yes, but this is a bit of an annoyance for anybody that purchased the blu-ray in the US because now it is obvious they had an extended cut ready to go but decided not to include it on the US release. This really looks like a case of "Let's sell them this film twice!" and I think that basically is a lousy thing to do...when all the new cut includes is 9 minutes of extra "father-son relationship" back story. My point is I doubt that 9 minutes improves the film - which is why this gets the "extended" rather than "director's" cut label - and the 9 minutes is probably not worth another $20.00 for a second blu-ray of this...I mean unless you are really into the "Tony and his son" part of the story...so if they had it they should have just included it on the US release as well. In fact an extra 9 minutes of father-son stuff may bog the film down.





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